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The Gift of Holding (the) Space

By Kirstin Bouse

Can you recall a time when you shared your excitement about the new ‘love of your life’ with your best friend and they listened completely and intently? Mirroring without conscious thought, your dizzy excitement and hope.

Can you remember a time when you sat with a friend who was in deep distress, crying a river of tears as they grieved the loss of someone close to them? And as they sobbed and rambled you were ‘in the moment’. And you just sat with them without expectation or distraction?

Well if so, you have experienced the gift of ‘being held’ and given the gift of ‘holding the space’ to another.

What is ‘holding the space’?

Firstly, ‘holding the space’ involves being present with one another in all versions of ourselves. ‘Holding the space’ is an active process. Something we create with another person or other people.

To hold the space for someone is an act of walking alongside them on their journey. Being with them without judgement or agenda. It’s about completely accepting and supporting them in the moment …… who they are ….… where they are at.

Why is ‘holding the space’ so important?

‘Holding the space’ fosters clarity and enables us to understand ourselves and our world. It provides a safe place to process our feelings so that we can reach a place of calm. It creates connection because we feel as though we belong and are understood.

When we ‘hold the space’ we make more room in our hearts and it’s key to us having the capacity to give of ourselves, more able to give in whatever capacity that may be.

If we ‘hold the space’ for one another in our relationships and with those we interact with on a day-to-day basis, then we are going to feel more capable of generosity, more appreciative of what we have and see that we’ve got more to give.

With more to give of themselves I’m hoping Australian women will harness the concept of ‘holding the space’ to empower women in developing countries to free themselves from poverty. Australian woman can help women in developing countries to break the cycle of poverty by making a donation to Opportunity International Australia, hosting a fundraising event, volunteering or advocating on behalf of Opportunity.

For a family in a developing country who can’t afford the basics, a gift as small as $70 can be life changing. With this hand up, a mother can put food on the table, send her children to school and transform her family’s future for generations. By holding the space for women in developing countries, Australian women can provide an opportunity for these women to hold the space for their own family and local community.

Kirstin Bouse
Clinical Psychologist
Author of The Conscious Mother: A simple guide to mothering with self-awareness, authenticity, confidence and connectedness.

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